Prime time broadcast proving hit with youngsters

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/27 18:33:40

Ouyang Xiadan, a news anchor of Xinwen Lianbo Photo: IC

"Young people tend to say that Xinwen Lianbo is a TV program for the older generation. Those people should eat their words, since many young people have become fans of Xinwen Lianbo recently," said Kang Hui, a news anchor in a video on the show's Tik Tok account.

Xinwen Lianbo is a 30-minute news program produced by China Central Television (CCTV), which airs daily at 7 pm. 

Since the launch of the news program on January 1, 1978, it has been an important window to learn about China for people from inside the country and overseas. According to the CCTV website, Xinwen Lianbo is seen as an indicator of China's politics, and aims to articulate the voice of the Party and government and to broadcast important events.

In the eyes of Chinese people, Xinwen Lianbo anchors all look solemn, dress formally, sit properly and read the news in a precise and serious tone.

Since the end of July, news programs have become hot topics for online searches, with more than 200 million clicks. In Bilibili, an online entertainment platform for the younger generation in China, a single video can receive more than 8 million hits. 

On July 25, Kang said in the news, "The US stressed that in its political system, politics is normal and wars are exceptions, while in China it is the reverse. This opinion is so absurd it makes you spit out your rice."

After the program was aired, the hashtag "Did you binge-watch Xinwen Lianbo?" became a hot search on Sina Weibo for three consecutive days.

More witty

On July 27, the program said human rights is simply a fig leaf for the US' deteriorating human rights situation. 

On August 7, a host on a financial TV program in Taiwan said that people in the Chinese mainland cannot even afford pickles. Ouyang Xiadan, another anchor on Xinwen Lianbo, responded in a newly launched program, "It's time for a night snack, how about some pickles?"

Kang responded to questions from web users on recent hot topics in the program's first video and commented on Xinwen Lianbo's rising popularity, saying, "Xinwen Lianbo has attracted a wave of fans after it hit Sina Weibo's Hot Search, and you have good taste for following Xinwen Lianbo."

Many web users said that with an episode a day, Xinwen Lianbo can be binge-watched like a TV series nowadays.

Xinwen Lianbo "raises public concerns and attracts more people to care about state affairs, and its serious but witty lines are so funny and attract more people to watch CCTV," another web user commented, adding that "the sharp comments close the gap between audiences and state affairs."

Nanfang Metropolis Daily said in a commentary that in the rich and diverse world of social media networks, the public shows great interest in the new methods that authoritative media are using to express themselves. Even a change of an anchor's phraseology can spark heated discussions.

New media platforms

In a video posted on an account of CCTV, Kang commented that the popularity of the news program lies in the fact that Xinwen Lianbo is still what it was in the past. "We are never 'down to earth' when it's time to take a lofty stance, and we never put on airs when it's time to be down to earth," he said in the post. The post was reposted 75,000 times, drawing 30,000 comments and 590,000 likes.

Screenshot of Xinwen Lianbo's Tik Tok account, which now has more than 17.6 million followers Photo: Screenshot of Tik Tok

On the news show of August 19, Kang and Ouyang unveiled a manuscript in the news, which contained nine large characters. Ouyang said that the design helps them to get a clearer picture of their job. 

"It looks easy, but you'll never know how hard it is (to broadcast news) until you try." That's because Xinwen Lianbo is more serious than other news programs, and places higher requirements on its anchors.

Kang joked that under this kind of pressure, he gets nervous when he hears the theme music of Xinwen Lianbo.

On the evening of August 16, Xinwen Lianbo launched its WeChat official account, with its first post receiving more than 100,000 views.

On August 24, Xinwen Lianbo officially entered Tik Tok and Kuaishou, China's hit short video platforms.

It was followed by 12 million people soon after joining Kuaishou. 

In the first video, Li Zimeng, a news anchor on Xinwen Lianbo, said, "I know the slogan of Kuaishou is 'record the world, record your life,' and we are the same since Xinwen Lianbo records China and Chinese people pursuing happiness and progress."
Newspaper headline: Spreading the news

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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